by Lucy Inskip (@lucyskippin)
Rather than finding the most outlandish historical object from a heritage site or online collection, I looked to my own bookshelf for an interesting piece of history. I bought this vintage Oxford coloured postcard print from Antiques on High whilst reading History at Oriel College, University of Oxford (2016-2019). It is from an original watercolour drawing of Oriel, by Alfred Robert Quinton (1853-1934).
The postcard reads: ‘Dear Freda, This is a lovely old town with most beautiful buildings & the weather is good. Daddy’. Sent with a One Penny King George V 1912-1922 Royal Cypher Watermark Stamp in the 6.30pm post on 7 April 1920, this charming postcard’s final destination was a certain Miss Freda Shepherd at an address in Upper Tooting, South West London. Though little is known about these correspondents, aside from their relationship and her address.
The postcard itself was printed and published by J. Salmon founded in 1880, in Sevenoaks, Kent. Joseph Salmon (the son and namesake of the founder) published postcards featuring the work of Alfred Robert Quinton from around 1912 until the artist’s death in 1934.
Image: Author’s own photograph.
By Stephanie Brown (@StephEmmaBrown)
Thanks to programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? there has never been more interest in family history. Since the turn of the century, family historians have started to look beyond traditional records such as the census, and birth, death, and marriage indices to new scientific methods. DNA tests are now being used to shed light on ethnic or biogeographical origins and to identify genetic relatives. In 2017, more people took an ancestry DNA test than in all previous years combined. Moreover, it is estimated that by 2022, the genetic testing market will be worth approximately £261 million. The ease and reasonably low cost of heritage DNA tests has made this technology accessible to everyone. So, with that in mind, I decided to give it a go.
By Ana Núñez (@anac4_nunez)
The Byzantine princess Anna Komnene (1083-1153) appears to have been a most devoted daughter. The first-born of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r.1081-1118), Anna took it upon herself to continue the work started by her late husband, Nikephoros Bryennios, and write a history (The Alexiad) of her father’s eventful imperial reign. From the outset her goal is clear: to record the events of her father’s reign so that they are not ‘swept away on the flood of Time into an ocean of obscurity’. Thus, she proceeds to compose a fifteen-book history of her father’s rule and his many great struggles and triumphs within the borders of the Byzantine Empire and beyond.